Last night saw a seminal moment in music history. The long-awaited Primal Scream gig hosted by Ray-Ban and Dazed blew up Islington Town Hall with an explosion of legendary music talent and some unequivocal and unfettered participation from the audience. The riotous crowd were gathered to see the Glaswegian godfathers of rock perform all of their hits, and to see them collaborate with adored Sonic Youth musician Kim Gordon.
The hall was aflame with some trademark Ray-Ban red lighting, and as the audience poured in their excitement was palpable. Within half an hour, the two-tier, neoclassical theatre space was packed full of London’s biggest names and most dedicated music fans, including Jake Chapman, Pam Hogg, Matthew Stone, Noomi Rapace and Samantha Morton.
Grunge rockers Splashh opened the show, followed by Kindness, the face of modern funk. The statuesque singer/songwriter/producer has developed a considerable following since breaking onto the scene two years ago, and last night proved why, as his jazz riffs roused a hall full of hips to swing in time with his impossibly beautiful, seriously soulful backing-vocalists and dancers.
Then came the main event. Primal Scream’s army of devoted followers were hyped and ready to rock out with some next-level abandon. The strobe-lighting delivery of “Swastika Eyes” saw hands being raised and hitting the air above a sea of banging heads; then the seismic “Movin’ On Up” lifted the roof thanks to the audience’s vocal accompaniment. By the time Kim arrived on stage everyone had swayed and sung and stamped to a point of delirium, but that only added to the impact of seeing her and Bobby deliver a song chosen by competition entrants and Twitter followers, the Stooges' classic “I Wanna Be Your Dog”.
Kim still has the effect of making men and women swoon alike. Together with Bobby, there was no doubt that here was a collaboration of unparalleled, legendary proportions. Their next song was The Troggs' “I Want You”, followed by a rendition of the Scream's “Rocks” that left the crowd dazed with joy. In the spirit of Ray-Ban's 75-year history, steeped in musical heritage, the event both hailed the best of the past and gave an encouraging nod to the future legends of music.
Photos by Richard Johnson